I hope that last week’s briefing on our St George’s approach to starting the next academic year was helpful for the continuing students amongst you. Remember that there will be themed Q&A sessions next week with senior staff based on the questions you post here on Unitu. If you have not yet activated your Unitu account you can do so here.
Thank you to all of you who have already submitted questions. It is immensely helpful to hear from you directly – there are always some things that we haven’t considered and need your student perspective to bring to light. Your engagement through Unitu means that we have more insight into what concerns you, your ideas and what you appreciate.
Final year undergraduate students, we are now able to let you know definitively that the graduation ceremonies scheduled for July will not be going ahead as planned. The continuing Covid-19 restrictions are not compatible with large-scale gatherings in the Barbican at present, but we are committed to holding rescheduled ceremonies in 2021. Our graduation event is a highlight of our University year, a valued opportunity to acknowledge your achievements and wish you well in your future life, and for you to celebrate the transition from St George’s student to alumnus with classmates and family.
Amidst the challenges and uncertainties that Covid-19 has brought, the work of the Students’ Union on your behalf has been truly impressive. The SU President and Vice-President (Education & Welfare) have been involved in important discussions and decision-making throughout, and have worked hard to represent the perspectives and needs of the student body. At a recent meeting with the University’s governing body, Council, there was much admiration from external members for this work and the effectiveness of joint University-SU working during this Covid-19 crisis.
I believe that this time of challenge has shown the value and importance of the Students’ Union and I hope it stimulates exponentially greater engagement from students with your Union. With the SU elections looming, I hope you will consider standing and that every single one of you will vote. You need strong leaders and officers to represent the student body and advance the SU at St George’s.
We know that many of you are in very challenging situations as a result of Covid-19 and some of you are experiencing significant financial hardship. I hope you are aware of the Access to Learning Fund and the EU/International Hardship Fund, both of which have increased provision because of the circumstances brought on by Covid-19. Information about both schemes and how to apply can be found below.
Student Curriculum Advisor opportunity
Finally, if you are interested in being a Student Curriculum Advisor, the closing date for expressions of interest is 7 June 2020. Please send an email to Jeff Saddington Wiltshire, addressed to me, explaining why you are interested in being involved. Thank you to all those who have already expressed interest.
In this role, you will be paid for your time and will work alongside staff on a major project to transform online teaching and learning for next term and beyond. Diverse student perspectives are essential: we are looking for students from across all programmes. I know from several thoughtful Unitu posts that there are several of you who have good ideas and a clear vision for online learning. I hope you will consider becoming involved in the project.
I look forward to engaging with some of you at next week’s Q&A sessions. Until then…
Professor Jane Saffell
Deputy Principal (Education)
St George’s, University of London
St George’s have increased the support available to students experiencing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19. Both the Access to Learning Fund and the EU and International Hardship Fund now have increased provision in response to an increased need for funding in the current climate.
Access to Learning Fund
The primary purpose of the Access to Learning Fund is to relieve financial hardship that might impact on a student’s participation in higher education. It is partly-funded by the generous donations of St George’s alumni and provides discretionary financial assistance to fully registered and enrolled full-time undergraduate and postgraduate home (UK) students.
The Access to Learning Fund will remain open until funds are exhausted. Students who wish to be considered are advised to make an application as soon as possible. To apply, students should complete an application form and email it, alongside all supporting documentation (pdf format only), to firstname.lastname@example.org
The application form, as well as further information on the Access to Learning Fund, can be found here.
EU and International Hardship Fund
The EU and International Hardship Fund is open to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate EU and International students who are experiencing financial hardship due to unexpected circumstances which are beyond their control (Covid-19).
Further information on the EU and International Hardship Fund, including details of how to apply, can be found here.